India Gambling LAWS India

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Navigating Legal


A Comprehensive Overview

Gambling has deep roots in India’s cultural fabric, tracing back centuries with mentions even in ancient epics like the Ramayana. Many consider it not just a pastime but an integral part of the nation’s heritage.

Historically, gambling laws in India date back to the 15th century, gaining further traction during the British Colonial Period, which introduced concepts like sports betting. However, despite its rich history, the legal landscape of gambling in India remains complex.

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Understanding The Legality Of Gambling

Officially, gambling in India is regulated under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which prohibits certain forms of gambling. However, each state has the authority to formulate its own regulations regarding both offline and online gambling activities.

When it comes to online gaming, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 faces significant challenges in the digital age, primarily due to its focus on physical gaming houses. This has created loopholes, allowing Indian players to explore online casinos hosted offshore, beyond the jurisdiction of Indian law.

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Exploring Gaming


The Public Gambling Act 1867 in Review

The Public Gambling Act, enacted over 150 years ago, prohibits the operation of physical gaming houses. It defines “gaming” as any form of betting or wagering for profit, excluding games of skill. However, its applicability to online gambling remains questionable, given its antiquated language and focus on brick-and-mortar establishments.

While games of skill like poker and backgammon are exempt from the Act, the rise of online casinos has blurred the lines between skill and chance-based games, presenting regulatory challenges.

Types of Gaming

The availability of diverse game selections is essential for Indian online casinos. We've assessed the newest entrants to the Indian casino market, identifying those offering top-notch real money gaming experiences.

Games of Skill

These games require strategic thinking and expertise, such as poker, rummy, and blackjack.

Games of Chance

Characterised by outcomes determined purely by luck, including roulette and slots.


Regulated under the Lotteries Regulation Act of 1998, offering various state and online options for players.

Horse Racing

Combines elements of skill and chance, requiring knowledge about horses and jockeys.

Sports Betting

Considered illegal under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, except in states like Sikkim, which have enacted specific regulations.


Offshore Online Casinos

With the proliferation of offshore online casinos catering to Indian players, selecting a reputable platform is crucial. Factors such as reputation, responsible gambling measures, and user experience guide our recommendations, ensuring a safe and enjoyable gaming environment.

For Indian players seeking the best online casinos, our curated list offers trusted options for real-money gambling. Visit our casino page for top-rated recommendations tailored to your preferences and safety.


  • Is online gambling legal in India?
    • Online gambling is a contentious issue in India, with its legal status varying significantly across different states. In some parts of the country, it is completely legal and regulated, with robust systems in place to ensure fair play and protect consumers. However, in other states, online gambling is considered illegal. This disparity in laws creates a unique situation where the legality of online gambling is not uniform across the country.

  • Are there national rules for online gambling in India?
    • There is no such legislation at the national level. It’s possible that there might be local or state laws regarding the issue, but as far as a comprehensive, nationwide law is concerned, none currently exists.

  • Is it legal to play in a casino based abroad while in India?
    • While Indian law prohibits gambling in physical establishments, the situation with online gambling is complex. Many offshore online casinos allow Indian players access, operating beyond Indian jurisdiction. However, understanding the legal implications and risks is crucial. Seeking legal guidance or thorough research before engaging in online gambling from India is recommended.